What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry uplike a raisin in the sun?Or fester like a sore—And then run?Does it stink like rotten meat?Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sagslike a heavy load.Or does it explode?
I thought about my writing today, and how this time last year my passion for the written word was ignited after an excruciatingly long period of dormancy. I was eager to get re-acquainted with my creative side and share my musings with anyone who would listen. After posting some sample pieces for my friends on Facebook, my new-found groove was cut short as I experienced extreme illness with my pregnancy. Just like that writing was kicked to the curb, and my focus made a major shift. I decided to start again as soon as I felt better, but with every attempt I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper in quicksand. Writer’s block? Fear? Insecurity? Lack of focus? Lack of time? Whatever it was I was in my own downward spiral headed to my dream deferred. I wanted so badly to express myself, but I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to gain my footing again. I allowed the busyness of life to keep me sidetracked, and it took me 9 months and an emotional breakdown to finally take that first step in the right direction. I sat at the computer and let my fingers do the talking, and The Stranger in the Mirror was born. In that moment I vowed never to let this desire dwindle, and I enlisted my family and friends to keep me accountable. I didn’t want to have any regrets as a result of not pursuing my own potential. I wanted to do something that simply gave me joy.
I get so caught up in wanting to achieve some intangible level of output that I often forget to connect with myself. I forget to check in with Me, and neglect those ideas and visions that were once burning a hole in my head. I shrug off the passions that once ignited fresh excitement and the reveries take a back seat to my tasks and to-do lists. It’s easy to let this happen, and before you know it weeks, months and maybe years pass before you stop and say “whatever happened to that plan I had? I remember how much I used to love to do this…how did I ever let this slip away…”
Does any of this sounds familiar? If so, I don’t blame you. We live in a society of movers and shakers, and it’s easy succumb to the pressure that dictates our success by how many goals we have and how quickly we accomplish them. We lock into a routine and before we know it our Mondays blur to Wednesdays, Wednesdays blur to Sundays, and just like that we start the cycle all over again. “Rush, rush, rush; hurry, hurry, hurry; go, go, go” is the new norm, but happiness is far too easily replaced by productivity. Looking at the big picture, what have we really acheived if we can’t relax and let our imagination run free? What discoveries would you make if you allowed yourself to dream?
What can you do now to turn that dream into reality?
Need some ideas? How about creating a Bucket List? This one certainly inspired me: